Cyprus has a mature banking sector. It is comprised of local banks, subsidiaries and branches of foreign banks. The domestic banking sector is regulated, supervised and monitored by the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC).
In addition to the CBC, there are four domestic banks listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange, seven subsidiaries of foreign banks, nine European Union (“EU”) banks with branches in Cyprus, and some seventeen non-EU banks with branches in Cyprus.
Banks Listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange
Bank of Cyprus Group
The Bank of Cyprus Group is the leading local banking and financial services group in Cyprus. Its core business is retail and commercial banking and the Group's activities include finance, factoring, investment banking, brokerage, venture capital, fund management, custody, life and general insurance.
The Bank of Cyprus is a major financial institution in Cyprus. In terms of market capitalisation it is the country's second largest company employing over 12.000 staff worldwide. The Group currently operates through some 595 branches/business offices, of which 143 operate in Cyprus with the remainder in Greece, the United Kingdom, Australia, The Channel Islands, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Canada and South Africa.
The shares of the Bank are listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) and the Athens Stock Exchange. The Bank is the largest listed company on the CSE in terms of market capitalization and is widely held.
Subsidiaries of foreign banks
Bank of Piraeus (Cyprus)
Founded in 1916, Piraeus Bank went through a period of state-ownership and management (1975-1991) before it was privatised in December 1991. In 1998, the Bank absorbed the activities of Chase Manhattan in Greece, took over controlling interest in Macedonia-Thrace Bank and acquired the specialised bank Credit Lyonnais Hellas.
At the beginning of 1999, the Bank acquired Xiosbank and absorbed the activities of National Westminster Bank Plc in Greece. In June 2000, the Bank unified its three commercial banks in Greece (Piraeus Bank, Macedonia-Thrace Bank and Xiosbank), creating one of the three largest private sector banks in Greece.
In 2007, Piraeus Group acquired the Arab Bank Cypriot network. Today the Piraeus Group operates 15 branches of Piraeus Bank in Cyprus. At the end of December 2010, Piraeus Bank Group had a network of 882 branches (360 in Greece and 522 abroad).
Cyprus Reserve Bank
Central Bank of Cyprus
The Central Bank of Cyprus was established in 1963, shortly after Cyprus gained its independence, as an autonomous institution in accordance with the Central Bank of Cyprus Law 1963 and the relevant articles of the Constitution. Today the Bank is governed by the Central Bank of Cyprus Laws 2002-2007, which ensure the Bank’s independence as well as compatibility with the relevant provisions of the Treaty establishing the European Community and the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank. The law’s amendment in March 2007 paved the way for the legal integration of the Bank into the Eurosystem in January 2008.
The main functions of the Central Bank include:
• implementing the European Central Bank’s monetary policy decisions;
• holding and managing the official international reserves;
• supervising banks;
• promoting, regulating and overseeing the smooth operation of payment and settlement systems;
• safeguarding the stability of the financial system;
• line with EU practices.
On 2 May 2005 the Cyprus pound joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism II (ERM II) at the pre-existing central parity of €1=CY£0,585274, unchanged from the parity at which it had been unilaterally pegged to the euro since 1999. The standard fluctuation margins of + 15% were maintained, although in practice the pound fluctuated within the narrower range of + 2,25, both before and after ERM II entry.
On 1 January 2008 Cyprus joined the euro area thus bringing to fruition the island’s goal of becoming a fully integrated member of the EU. The conversion rate between the euro and the Cyprus pound was set at CY£0,585274 by the ECOFIN Council on 10 July 2007, in other words the same rate at which the Cyprus pound joined ERM II.
Other Banks Listed on the Cyprus Stock Exchange
Other Subsidiaries of foreign banks
National Bank of Greece (Cyprus)
Russian Commercial Bank (Cyprus)
Societe Generale Bank (Cyprus)
Eurobank EFG Cyprus
Other Banks in Cyprus
Cooperative Central Bank
Cyprus Development Bank
Housing Finance Corporation
Branches of European Union banks
Barclays Bank PLC
Banque SBA SA
First Investment Bank Ltd
Joint Stock Company “Trasta Komercbanka”
National Bank of Greece Α.Ε.
Central Cooperative Bank PLC
Banca Transilvania S.A.
Joint Stock Company Akciju Komercbanka "Baltikums"
AS LTB Bank
Branches of banks from non-EU countries
Arab Jordan Investment Bank SA
BANQUE BEMO SAL
Bank of Beirut SAL
BLOM Bank SAL
Byblos Bank SAL
Credit Libanais SAL
FBME Bank Ltd
Open joint-stock company AvtoVAZbank
Jordan Kuwait Bank PLC
Jordan Ahli Bank plc
Lebanon and Gulf Bank SAL
Lloyds TSB Offshore Limited
Privatbank Commercial Bank
IBL Bank sal